This feature on Toronto Style comes from our friends at Toro Magazine, the site that has exactly "What Men Need To Know".
Cindy Busby is, as she states in her revealing interview below, “a very friendly, outgoing, happy person.” But she’s also a serious young actress, schooled in the Meisner technique, training that’s allowed her to expertly channel the rich, mean, spoiled girls that she routinely plays in film and television. Busby appears as Ashley Stanton on CBC’s Heartland, a rich, competitive, snotty horseback rider. She can also be seen in the MGM teen comedy Picture This, where she portrays another rich, conniving and unusually cruel young lady.
Busby reflects on this string of mean girl roles: “It’s kind of weird, because growing up I came from an average, blue-collar family. And now somehow I’ve just fallen into these roles. But it’s actually really nice, because I love playing roles that are really different from who I am. My cast mates usually burst out laughing whenever I deliver a really bitchy, typical Ashley Stanton scene, because it’s so opposite of who I am.”
Another aspect of who she is: serious vampire fan. In fact, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles is one of her favourite movies of all time, and the inspiration for the accompanying photo shoot. The narrative that Busby worked out with photographer Darryl Humphrey involves (in broad strokes) a young woman’s gradual loss of innocence as she transforms from a virginal/human state to a more sexualized/otherworldly vampire-influenced incarnation, all captured using 100 per cent natural lighting.
And if that were not enough, she can also be seen on a new TV series on The CW Network, The Vampire Diaries. The show is written and produced by Kevin Williamson, the creator of Scream and Dawson’s Creek – Busby’s all-time favourite TV show.
“It was just like a dream come true,” she says of landing the gig.
“I personally have always been a huge vampire fan. When I was a kid, it was all that I would ever have nightmares about, which is so weird. But at the same time, I enjoyed it. It was kind of like an enjoyable torture.”
Cindy Busby met with photographer Darryl Humphrey for an exclusive TORO Woman shoot and revealed insights into her personality with the following Q&A.
Q: What is your present state of mind?
A: Successful, happy and in love.
Q: What’s the quality you like most in a man?
A: Sense of humour, for sure. And sensitive.
Q: The quality that you like most in a woman?
A: Loyal and outgoing.
Q: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A: Success, family and love.
Q: What historical figure do you most identify with?
A: Marilyn Monroe. I’ve always been a bit intrigued by her and what she stood for and just her whole life story.
Q: What living person do you most admire?
A: My mom for sure. She’s just like an everyday woman who’s grown so much since I’ve been around her and I just look up to her. Anytime that I have a problem she’s just there for me and always makes me fell better no matter what. We’re really, really close. She’s my mom but she’s also my best friend.
Q: What is your greatest extravagance or indulgence?
A: Well, food or shopping. Or maybe the combination [laughs], a nice dinner after a long day of shopping!
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
A: Probably pictures of everything – my friends, my family, my youth, just everything. I love taking pictures. I’m always the one with the camera! [laughs]
Q: Other than the talents that you are already blessed with, which one would you most like to have?
A: I’m not sure if it’s a talent, but I love to cook. I know that it’s definitely something that added to my appeal for my boyfriend [laughs].
Q: Other than your present occupation, is there any other that you’d like to try?
A: Well, I’d definitely like to study other things and keep on learning all the time, but I wouldn’t want to do anything else. Ultimately, acting is my craft. I’ve always been interested in psychology and nutrition, but I don’t know that I’d go and make that my profession.
Q: What would be your greatest fear?
A: I’d probably say death. And spiders [laughs].
Q: What trait do you deplore most in other people?
A: Oh God. Do you have a minute? [laughs]. People that are dishonest. People that you can’t depend on. And people that are disloyal. I give a lot to those around me, and I kind of expect that they’d be the same way back to me.
Q: What trait do you deplore most in yourself?
A: I’d probably say my perfectionism. Just wanting everything to be perfect – whether it’s myself or my surrounding – which can make me unhappy because nothing can be perfect.
Q: What’s your most defining characteristic?
A: I’d say that I’m a very friendly, outgoing, happy person who just wants to make the people around me happy. I wouldn’t say one, I’m sort of multi-dimensional in that regard.
Q: Any words and phrases that you routinely overuse in everyday conversation?
A: I probably say “Oh my God” a lot. Or, “Are you serious?” And I probably laugh a lot.
Q: What is your motto?
A: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Look for Cindy Busby in the third season of Heartland, airing on CBC this fall, and in the upcoming series The Vampire Diaries on The CW Network.
William Morassutti is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TORO. Prior to joining TORO, he worked in Canadian broadcasting as a writer, producer, director, reporter and host.